Who Is Eric Talley? Tributes Paid To Boulder Police Officer Killed in Mass Shooting

Tributes have been paid to the Boulder Police officer who was among the 10 victims of the mass shooting at a grocery store in Colorado.

Officer Eric Talley, 51, was shot dead after responding to reports of a man possibly armed with a patrol rifle opening fire inside King Soopers at around 2:30 p.m. on Monday, March 22.

In a press conference, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold praised Talley's actions as "heroic" and confirmed he was the first on the scene when he was fatally shot.

"I also want to commend the heroic actions of the officers responding not only from Boulder, but from across the county but in other parts of this region," Herold said.

"I also want to thank the men and women who responded, including state, local and federal authorities.

"My heart goes out to the victims of this incident. And I'm grateful for the police officers that responded and I am so sorry about the loss of Officer Talley."

Talley has been with the Boulder Police Department since 2010 and had served in numerous roles at the department and in the community at Boulder.

The officer was a father of seven, with his youngest child being 7-years-old, Talley's father said in a statement to local media.

Homer Talley said the officer had been looking for a new job in order to protect his family.

"He was looking for a job to keep himself off of the front lines and was learning to be a drone operator. He didn't want to put his family through something like this," Homer Talley said.

"My work goes out to Eric Talley's family, his loved ones and his colleagues," Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said at the press conference.

"He was by all accounts, one of the outstanding officers of the police department and his life was cut for too short as he responded to the shooting that was taking place.

"I also want to stress how incredibly sorry I am for all the victims who were killed in case. These were people going about their day doing their job. Their lives were cut abruptly and tragically short by the shooter."

Police have not officially identified the names of the other victims of the shooters, nor the suspect who has been taken into custody.

Other leading figures have paid tribute to Talley and the other victims of the mass shootings, as well as those killed in other attacks in the state.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis said: "Today, 10 lives were tragically lost, including Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley. Officer Talley served more than 10 years with the Boulder Police Department and tragically lost his life at the age of 51 while working to save the lives of others.

"And tonight, the families of these victims, our fellow Coloradans, my neighbors, are hearing the devastating news that their loved one who simply woke up and went to work this morning, or who ran out to pick up eggs, won't be coming home.

"This year we have all been surrounded by loss of life, illness and isolation, and the deep grief that has accompanied the loss of life as we knew it.

"As spring sprung this weekend, and vaccines continue to get into arms, lightness creeped back in only for the darkness to descend on us again today. Today we saw the face of evil. I am grieving with my community and all Coloradans."

Colorado Senator John Hickenlooper said in a statement: "Our state grieves tonight as we mourn ten more Coloradans senselessly killed by gun violence – including police officer Eric Talley. Our thoughts are with the victims' loved ones, and we are grateful to the frontline workers and first responders whose bravery saved lives.

"We all share Boulder's pain – pain that hits home. Columbine, Arapahoe, Platte Canyon, STEM School Highlands Ranch, Planned Parenthood, Aurora – and now Boulder. More needs to be done to prevent dangerous weapons from falling into the wrong hands. Enough is enough."

Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver added: "Words can do no justice to the tragedy that has unfolded this afternoon. Our community will soon grieve our losses, and begin our healing. Our brave police officers and first responders have the gratitude of our entire city."

Boulder Police said they will be giving an update into the investigation at around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Officer Eric Talley
Officer Eric Talley, 51, was among the 10 people killed in the shooting at the King Soopers in Boulder, Colorado. Boulder Police Department